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Root Difference between a Rom and a Kernel?

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by kronium, Aug 9, 2010.

  1. kronium

    kronium Member
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    I have the latest nightly cyanogen build but am confused as to exactly what a kernel is. Should I install a new one if I never have before? Does a new kernel just provide more speed? Thank you.
     

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  2. novox77

    novox77 Leeeroy Jennnkinnns!
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    A ROM is the loosely used term to mean any package that you write to your phone's memory. A ROM can contain a lot of components like a custom bootloader, recovery image, kernel, operating system, radio, wimax, etc.

    A rooted ROM is one that contains an operating system that has a superuser added to it. The superuser (su) has root (admin) access to the filesystem, and applications can then request these permissions to run stuff that' otherwise not allowed by the stock user.

    The kernel is the heart of the linux part of the OS. Android (and your launcher app) run on top of this layer. A lot of the phone's capability is defined in the kernel, and as the devs have discovered, things can be un-nerfed by making the appropriate changes to the kernel. Some of the advantages of a custom kernel include:

    -native wifi and wired tethering (you don't need to pay your carrier to use their tether app)
    -uncapped FPS. Evo is capped at 30FPS from the factory. Uncapped, people see 50+ FPS
    -increased touch-swipe sensitivity. this is related to the FPS uncap. Basically, menus scroll with your finger better so you feel like the phone is much more responsive to your finger's movements.
    -three or five-point touch support. There aren't a lot of apps taking advantage of this, but basically you can get up to 5 points registering on the touchpad instead of two.
    -cpu throttling: overclock or underclock your CPU. This can save you a lot of battery life if you underclock smartly.

    Custom kernels require a full root to run as intended. Most custom roms come packaged with a custom kernel. This is why not all custom roms work with an unrevoked root method. You may be able to flash the rom, but you may not see any of the above advantages.
     
    raduray and v01rider like this.
  3. kronium

    kronium Member
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    Great explanation. So as long as I'm fully rooted and keep installing Cyanogen, I have nothing to worry about. Thanks
     
  4. v01rider

    v01rider Android Expert
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    agreed. ive often wondered this myself. i am rooted and have a custom kernel, but was unsure what each specifically did.
     
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